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Gardening Lessons with Allan Armitage

The Martha Stewart Show, September 2010

Teaching involves the tricky art of translating tough concepts into easily understandable language. As a highly sought-after professor of horticulture, Allan Armitage has mastered this art, using a variety of teaching methods to help students become better cultivators of the land.

Here, Allan shares the in-class experiments he uses to demonstrate fundamental gardening ideas to students.

Lesson 1: Container Depth
Allan holds a wet sponge over a bowl horizontally and vertically to demonstrate that depth is more important than width when it comes to container planting. This type of demonstration is especially effective for visual learners.

Lesson 2: Plant Properties
Allan uses anecdotes to help students understand information about plant characteristics that might otherwise seem complex. For example, it's easy to remember that torenia are commonly called wishbone flowers because their stamens resemble wishbones. These kinds of methods are particularly suited to auditory learners.